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When we started reading the Little House in the Prairie Series last fall, I desired summer trip to one of the many houses. Laura’s house from Little House in the Big Woods was less than 2 hours away plus some awesome other  perfect for our age kiddo activities we could include…so off we went.

It was GREAT…perfect length, perfect amount of outings, and perfect weather to throughly enjoy the amazing surroundings of the Mississippi river.

Lark Toys in Kellog, MN

  • My friend Diane has been telling me about this awesome place since she brought us back a handmade wooden rolling giraffe when Anne was born…and it is indeed awesome
  • In-house handmade wooden toys, you can even peek through windows to watch them working.
  • One of a kind carousel where each animal was made there.
  • Toys from the past
  • An amazing toy store where you can play and of course buy
  • Yummy ice cream to enjoy
  • and Llamas…always have to have llamas

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Overnights at Wabasha, MN-Stayed at the American Inn

  • Wabasha was the only town that had a hotel and so there we stayed which was great. Not pictured was the multiple times we swam and jumped and swam and jumped and swam between our activities. Going to sleep was never an issue at night.
  • Wabasha is home to the film Grumpy Old Men…did not know that going into this. Very touristy adorable town that is right on the Mississippi river…so beautiful.
  • We ate Slippery Restaurant both nights that was right on the river front where we could watch boats, see the big bridge, collect rocks and see sightings of eagles.
  • One Night we walked over to a park on the river that had park elements mixed in with the natural settings. We were there for so long and much joy was found in climbing the rocks over and over again.

Pepin, WI- Birth site of Laura Ingalls!!!!!!

  • Seriously people…it was exciting! You know what is the best thing to do when visiting an original site is be listening to that book while you drive there…which we were doing! Something about hearing her describe the woods, tapping trees, driving to Pepin and playing outside in the big oak trees while you are literally driving in those areas is amazing and makes it come alive.
  • The house (7 miles north of Pepin)  is a rebuilt but on the original land that the family owned. You can go in and pull the latch door just like they had…it is kept bare in there but makes it available for people to see whenever.
  • We headed back to the town for the museum…which was okay (probably pass in the future but they had a play area and my kiddos appreciated that greatly).
  • Ate at the Pickle Factory right on Lake Pepin/Mississippi River.
  • Anne had an absolute fantastic time picking up the beautifully smooth rocks on the shore and finding all the unique shapes they came in…she filled her cup. Later we listened to the chapter where Laura filled her pocket full of rocks from the Lake Pepin shore and my literary nerd mothering heart nearly burst!IMG_1251
  • There was this sweet rock path leading into the lake you could walk out on to and we did and of course enjoyed throwing rocks into the water while Henry tried to eat ever rock imaginable.
  • On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a creamery in Nelson and had ice cream again.

National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN

  • This a beautiful place that educated and keeps injured eagles from all over the country.
  • Right on the river front so you can view eagles…in the winter you see up to 400 eagles at a time because the water usually remains open in this area due to two rivers intersecting
  • I’ve never been so close to eagles nor learned so much about them
  • We attempted a class where we could watch the trainer feed Columbia, a female eagle. Anne and Ryan made it through the class but the boys and I had to leave. At this point we were pushing naps way late plus going on little sleep to begin.
  • Peter loved this beautiful fountain they had by the building that used water from the river with a waterfall and a little bubbling part in front for them to dip their feet in…he said it was his favorite part of the day.

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On the way home, I told Ryan how well I thought this trip went for a 4, 3 and 11 month old.

The most stressful part was the eating…which I totally knew it was going to be going into it. Henry is just hard to eat with. Period. It doesn’t matter if we were at a restaurant, having a picnic, or eating breakfast (which we tried all three forms!)…he is loud, REALLY MESSY, destroys everything while he scoots, and not very contented for long…like at all. Mix that with a 4 and 3 year old who like to eat at super speed and be done make for a not so relaxing dining experience.

At one point, I remember looking at these other people sitting back in their chairs looking over the river and I thought, “I have not sat back once in my chair.” I was always on the edge of my seat, cutting up food, playing games, passing food, trying to keep a loud 11 month old happy or not eating the things he is supposed to do all the while shoveling in my food as fast I could too. We would take turns taking them on walks while waiting…and being by the river with boats was greatly helpful.

These are the days though and they really are great days someday and I’ll miss these 4, 3 and 11 month old kiddos I have right now.

…or Ryan and I will escape in the winter by ourselves and watch the eagles while we fully recline in chairs drinking coffee.

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